Must-know tips and tricks for Kindle Paperwhite newbies – part 1

with 34 Comments

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Must-know tips and tricks for Amazon Kindle Paperwhite newbies


[Updated January 4th, 2016] About two weeks ago, I posted a blog post called How to get started with your newly Kindle Paperwhite and get used to it. I hope that you’ve got started with your own Kindle Paperwhite. Right now, I would like to continue with some tips and tricks that I have discovered so far:


Please note that I just published the second part of Must-know tips and tricks for Kindle Paperwhite newbies (May 9th, 2017), which apply to all of Kindle e-Readers, including Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Voyage, Kindle Oasis and Kindle with Kindle Software Update 5.7.3 and newer.


Please note that both Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Voyage share the same firmware version (Kindle 5.6.5 as of January 4th, 2016) and therefore, these tips and tricks for Kindle Paperwhite also apply to Kindle Voyage.


1. How to extend battery life: Keeping WiFi turned ON at all times is a very effective way to drain your Kindle’s battery life. Unless you’re using it to download Kindle ebooks that you want to read, keep WiFi turned OFF (see image below):
Settings -> Airplane Mode -> ON

Kindle Paperwhite, 6


2. How to set Passcode: You are what you read and perhaps you would like to keep it to yourself by protecting the content on your Kindle (see images below):
Settings -> Device Options -> Device Passcode: Enter Passcode – Confirm Passcode – OK

Kindle Paperwhite, 6


3. How to decrease and increase the font: When you are reading a Kindle ebook, make a diagonal/horizontal/vertical pinch gesture to decrease the font size by one. To increase the font by one, make a diagonal/horizontal/vertical spread gesture.


4. How to remove Recommended Content: When your Kindle is set in Cover View, you’ll see recommended content from the Kindle Store, such as Popular Books for Young Readers, New & Noteworthy and so on. This recommended content can easily be removed from the screen (see image below):
Settings -> Device Options -> Personalize your Kindle -> Recommended Content -> OFF

Kindle Paperwhite, 6
5. How to take screenshots: Taking a screenshot is very easy. Tap the upper left corner and lower right corner at the same time or tap the upper right corner and lower left corner at the same time. The screen will flash once and refresh.

Plug the Kindle Paperwhite into your computer with the USB 2.0 charging cable to access the screenshots. These screenshots’re saved in .png format to the root of your Kindle’s drive.


6. How to to change your default dictionary: If you have only one dictionary for a particular language, then your Kindle PaperwhiteKindle Paperwhite, 6 will automatically set that dictionary as the default for that language. However, if you have more dictionaries, you can choose which dictionary you want as your default dictionary:
Settings -> Device Options -> Language and Dictionaries -> Dictionaries -> Select the language you want to set as your default dictionary.

Purchase additional supported dictionaries in the Kindle Store


7. How to download a dictionary: Last night I noticed that for some (unknown) reason my default dictonary was gone and the dictionaries collection was no where to be found. In this case, you can download a dictionary from the Cloud tab and using Search with these following keywords:

  • 新华词典 (Chinese Edition) for Chinese
  • Real Academia Española el Diccionario de la lengua española for Spanish
  • Guida all ‘uso di Kindle (Italian Edition)
  • Duden Deutsches Universalwörterbuch for German
  • Oxford Dictionary of English for UK English
  • The New Oxford American Dictionary for US English
  • 现代英汉词典 (Modern Chinese) for Modern Chinese
  • Dicionário Priberam da Língua Portuguesa for Brazilian Portuguese
  • 大辞泉 (Japanese Edition) for Japanese
  • プログレッシブ英和中辞典 (Progressive Japanese) for Progressive Japanese
  • Dictionnaire français de définitions for French

The above mentioned dictionaries are free to download. Click here to purchase additional supported dictionaries in the Kindle Store.


8. How to sync the furthest page read across devices: Thanks to the Whispersync technology your Kindle PaperwhiteKindle Paperwhite, 6 synchronizes the furthest page location, bookmarks and annotations across your devices automatically. If it doesn’t sync automatically then you can sync it manually as well (see image below):
Device -> Open your ebook -> Tap the top right corner -> Select Sync to Furthest Page Read

Kindle Paperwhite, 6


9. How to remove an ebook from your Kindle: Let’s say that you’re done reading a particular ebook and you want to save some space by removing it from your Kindle Paperwhite. You can remove it as follows:
Device -> Tap a few seconds on the ebook that you want to remove until pop-up (see image below) appears -> Tap on Remove from Device 

Kindle Paperwhite

You can also apply this method for other purposes, such as:

  • adding the ebook to a collection (Add to Collection)
  • going to a specific part of the ebook (Go To …)
  • reading the ebook’s description on the Kindle Store (Book Description). Note: an internet connection is required
  • searching for a specific keywoord or a phrase within the ebook (Search This Book)
  • viewing notes and marks that you’ve made on the ebook (View Notes & Marks)
  • How to restart your Kindle: When you’re done reading, you can turn the screen light OFF by tapping the power button on the bottom of your Kindle Paperwhite. Keep in mind that if you keep the light screen ON, it will drain your Kindle’s battery life.

However, sometimes the Kindle Paperwhite freezes with the light screen ON. It happened to my Kindle Paperwhite yesterday. You can resolve this issue by restarting your Kindle Paperwhite (see image below):
Cloud/Device -> Setting -> Menu: select en tap Restart

How to restart Kindle Ppaperwhite

Restarting your Kindle Paperwhite can also resolve other issues, such as frozen screen or issues with downloading content. In contrast to the Reset Device, tapping the Restart wil NOT de-register your Kindle Paperwhite and wil NOT remove all of the downloaded content, including Notes and Marks.


10. How to change your Kindle Paperwhite’s language: If you want to change the language of your Kindle Paperwhite from X-language to your Y-preferred language, change it as follows (see image below):
Menu -> Setting -> Device Options -> Language and Dictionaries -> Language -> Select your preferred language -> Select OK

How to change your preferred language on Kindle Paperwhite

Your Kindle Paperwhite will take a few moments to restart. You can also use this method to change your Keyboards and/or Dictionaries: Select Keyboards and/or Dictionaries on Language and Dictionaries section. More about dictionaries, read the tips and tricks no. 6.


11. How to turn the Automatic Book Update ON/OFF: Once in awhile you get an automatic email from Amazon Kindle, letting you know that there is an update available to a particular ebook. It means that you can update that particular ebook manually. From now on, it is possible to let your Kindle Paperwhite and other devices do the updating automatically by turning the “Automatic Book Update” button to ON (see image below):

Log in to your Amazon account -> Go to Manage Your Kindle -> Go to Manage Your Devices -> Click on the Turn On button (until the ON button next to your name is turned into GREEN).

Automatic Book Updates

Note: You can turn the Turn ON/OFF button On and Off whenever you like it. 


12. How to charge Kindle Paperwhite without computer: Charging your Kindle Paperwhite is very easy when you are at home or at your office because you usually have your computer on. But what if you’re traveling without your computer? Read here about how to charge your Kindle Paperwhite without computer.


13. How to manually download and install the latest software update: The latest software update of your Kindle Paperwhite will automatically be delivered when you’re Wifi/3G connected. But what to do if your Kindle Paperwhite does not even detect the newest software updates? Read here about how to manually download and install the latest software update to your Kindle Paperwhite.


14. How to send any type of file to Kindle Paperwhite: You love reading on your Kindle Paperwhite but you’re wondering how to send pictures, maps, family trees, other images and various documents to your Kindle Paperwhite? Read here about how to send any type of file to your Kindle Paperwhite.


15. How to lend and borrow Kindle ebooks: Reading Kindle ebooks is educative, relaxing and fun. Thing only get better if you can share it with friends and relatives. If you want to share all the fun of reading with loved ones by lending or borrowing Kindle ebooks to and from them, read this blog post about How to lend and borrow Kindle ebooks to and from anyone you choose.


How do you know that Kindle Paperwhite is charging properly

16. How do you know that your Kindle Paperwhite is charging: There are 2 ways to know that your Kindle Paperwhite is charging properly:

  • The battery icon will turn into an “electric” battery icons when it is charging (see image above). It will turn back into its usual battery icon when your Kindle Paperwhite is fully charged.
  • The power indicator (at the bottom of Kindle Paperwhite) will turn ORANGE when it is charging. It will turn GREEN when your Kindle Paperwhite is fully charged.


17. How to extend Kindle Paperwhite while traveling: Are you going to travel and do you want to read lots of books on your Kindle Paperwhite while traveling. Read about How to extend Kindle Paperwhite battery life while traveling.


18. How to read ebooks in Landscape Mode on Kindle Paperwhite: Switching to the Landscape Mode when you are reading ebooks on your Kindle Paperwhite is quite easy. Just follow these following steps on How to read ebooks in Landscape Mode on your Kindle Paperwhite.


Bonus tips:


Don’t you see your questions? Ask your questions in the comment section below. I’ll try to answer them or perhaps other readers would also like to share their answer.

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34 Responses

  1. […] in 2012 I published a blog post called, Must-know tips and tricks for Kindle Paperwhite newbies, which I updated a few times up until January, […]

  2. […] in 2012 I published a blog post called, Must-know tips and tricks for Amazon Kindle Paperwhite newbies, which I updated a few times up until January, […]

  3. Thomas Greig
    | Reply

    Hi Lia, how do you make “dictionary” or “translate” as the default for a long press? I never want to use Wikipedia, and don’t want to have to do the additional swipes every time I want to look up a word.

  4. D.R.
    | Reply

    I can share quotes from books on Facebook but not from newpapers. Why’s that?

  5. stuart nielsen
    | Reply

    Hi There, love your site and tips…just bought a Kindle Basic/6 Paperwhite for my wife’s birthday and I am trying to set it all up and load cook books on it. I am an aussie living in HK. The problems is each time I press the shopping cart the books and language is all in chinese. I have chnaged the language and turned off the auto recommendation but it is still there. please help to advise me how to remove the chinese words for good? best wishes Stuart in HK

    • Lia Belle
      | Reply

      Hello Stuart, thanks for your question. What is your current country setting? (Go to Your Content and Devices – Settings – Country Setting). Please change your country setting to Australia (or United States) and see what language the Storefront has.

      Let me know if it helps. And if you have other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me again.


      Lia Belle

  6. David
    | Reply

    I’m not able to follow the directions to get my paperwhite to communicate with me in English.

  7. femmenagerie
    | Reply

    Hi! I can’t share quotes and highlighted passages on my Twitter and Facebook accounts. And yes, they’re linked to my Goodreads account. Any idea how to resolve this? Thanks!

    • Lia Belle
      | Reply

      Hello, thanks for your question. Have you tried to unlink and (re)link your Twitter and Facebook accounts? Please makes sure that you are in fact connected to the internet when you share highlighted passages to Twitter and Facebook.

      Let me know if it helps. And if you have other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me again.


      Lia Belle

  8. John T
    | Reply

    Some owners may prefer 24 Hour Clock Format to 12 Hour Clock Format. If you are English reading . . .
    Home > Menu > Settings > Device Options > Language and Dictionaries – Change language from “English (United States) to “English (United Kingdom)”

  9. Tanya
    | Reply

    Can you please help me with changing he default language for my wikipedia on Kindle. It’s Chinese and I need English.

  10. Uzayer Masud
    | Reply

    I don’t have an amazon account and my default dictionary got erased somehow so how can I get another dictionary.Thank You

  11. Liz
    | Reply

    Is there a way to know how much battery life is left in minutes/hours, rather than just gauging from looking at the battery bar?

  12. Shivam
    | Reply

    is there any way to use notepad on kindle paperwhite?

  13. marco
    | Reply

    ok, so i live in zurich, switzerland, but i set my language as US english. how come all recommended books are shown in german, even the english ones? and the prices in euros? i hate when some gadget tries to outthink me, let me make my own d**n choices. I’m traveling in US and want to get recommended US books.

    • Lia Belle
      | Reply

      Thanks for asking. However, I am not sure if I have the right answer because I have never had this kind of issue. Please try to change your country setting (to United States) and see if it helps. Keep in mind that you need a new address (in the United States) to update your country setting. You can change your country settings in 2 ways:

      1. On the web
      1.1. Log in to your Amazon account
      1.2. Go to Manage Your Kindle
      1.3. On your Kindle Library, select Country Settings
      1.4. Click on the Update button

      2. On your Kindle Paperwhite 2nd generation:
      2.1. Go to Kindle Store
      2.2. Select Country Settings
      2.3. Change your country settings

      Tip: If you don’t have a US address, you can use a virtual US address provided by Borderlinx. Click here to learn more about Borderlinx and click here to sign up for your US & UK shipping addresses.

      Let me know if it helps. Thanks!

      – Lia Belle

  14. Hong
    | Reply

    I’v downloaded heaps of free dictionaries onto my android device. Is it possible to get dictionaries from other sources on my kindle?

    • Lia Belle
      | Reply

      Hello Hong,

      I have never tried getting dictionaries from other sources onto my Kindle Paperwhite. However, there is only one way to find out if it’s going to work. Just try to get them onto your Kindle but you might want to convert those dictionaries into Kindle formats first. Read about How to send any type of file to your Kindle Paperwhite using Send to Kindle app.

      Good luck and let me know if it actually works. Thank you.


  15. Yan Vishnepolsky
    | Reply


    How do we choose a particular collection. For instance, if I want to choose books in my history collection only, is there a way to do that, or do all collections have to be grouped together?


  16. LMW
    | Reply

    Is there anyway to take a map/illustration – in this case it happens to be a family tree and expand it so it can be easily read on the Kindle Paper White – like you can on an IPad, Smartphone, etc. ? Or how might one effect that functionality ?

    • Lia Belle
      | Reply

      To be honest, I have never sent a family tree to my Kindle Paperwhite. However, please check this blog post: How to send any type of file to your Kindle Paperwhite using Send to Kindle app and let me know if it helps answer your question.

      Kind regards, Lia

      • LMW
        | Reply

        That’s a great app that I wasn’t aware of – thank you. However, I should have been more specific. This is a family tree that appears in a Kiddle book and to make it more legible it would be great to be able to enlarge the font or expand it in someway. I know you can enlarge the font but that doesn’t seem to work for “exhibits”, maps, family trees, etc. Thanks !

  17. D. Joseph
    | Reply

    As regards the above comment, I have the same experience with German and English, and can find no way to modify the default dictionary. Thanks!

  18. Massimo
    | Reply

    I have usually read both english and italian books. So I have installed both an italian and an english dictionary on my kindle. The problem is that whenever I underline an english word, the device looks up the definition in the italian dictionary and, obvously, returns an empty page. How can tell the kindle that the book I am reading is in english and not in italian? The only solution I have found so far is to remove the italian dictionary.

    • Lia Belle
      | Reply

      Thanks for your question, Massimo,

      I, myself, use only one single dictionary so I am not sure if I have had the right solution for you. Nevertheless, perhaps you could try these:
      – Set English as the default dictionary before/when you read English ebooks
      – Set Italian as the default dictionary before/when you read Italian ebooks

      Please try and let me know if it actually helps solve your English-Italian dictionaries issue.

  19. Benjamin
    | Reply

    Hi, I was wondering, do you need wifi to use the x-ray and wikipedia functions? I do a lot of reading away from a wifi hotspot and it would be a bit of a bummer to lose some of the functionality as a result.

    • Lia Belle
      | Reply

      Hi Benjamin,

      Great questions!

      And let me start with the X-Ray feature: As you have probably known that you can use the X-Ray to explore the “bones of a book.” And yes, you can also use it without an internet connection (Wifi). However, the X-Ray feature is not available for all Kindle ebooks. If the X-Ray feature is not available for the ebook that you are reading, then the X-Ray button is greyed out. You’ll see the X-Ray button in the toolbar, when the X-Ray feature is actually available for the ebook that you’re reading.

      Secondly, the Wikipedia feature: You need an internet connection (Wifi) if you want to use the Wikipedia feature because your Kindle Paperwhite needs to establish an online connection with Wikipedia. However, if you’re away from a Wifi hotspot, you can use your dictionary instead. Keep in mind that you’ll need an internet connection to download your preferred dictionary.

      Please let me know if this information helps answer both of your questions. Thank you!

  20. Cameron
    | Reply

    I would like to be able to share my quotes with google+ do you know of a way to do that?

    • Lia Belle
      | Reply

      Hi there, it’s a very good question. I checked the social settings and as I thought, Google+ hasn’t been added (yet) to the Amazon/Kindle social networks. Unfortunately, I don’t know any other way. Perhaps, we’ll just have to stick to Twitter and Facebook to share quotes and highlighted passages with for a little while.

      Or is there someone else who knows a way to do it? Please share it with us. Thank you!

  21. Tina Fields
    | Reply

    Thank you! This was very useful indeed.

    • Lia Belle
      | Reply

      I am glad that you found it useful. Don’t be a stranger and visit Lia Belle dot Me again.

      Don’t forget to share the usefulness 🙂 Thank you very much indeed.

  22. Jack Boyd
    | Reply

    How do I change the language from German to English on my Kindle

    • Lia Belle
      | Reply

      Hi Jack,

      Thanks for your useful question. I added it as tips and tricks no. 11. Please read it and let me know whether/how it works for you. Thank you!

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